The Black Keys’ ‘It Ain’t Over’ Is Built Around A Very Special Keyboard

Last month, The Black Keys announced that their 11th studio album, Dropout Boogie, would be released on May 13th. The duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney recorded Dropout Boogie at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studios in Nashville with a host of collaborators. While the album’s lead single, “Wild Child,” was released concurrently with the album announcement, the Akron, Ohio natives have wasted little time in introducing the world to the album’s next offering, “It Ain’t Over.”

A spirited tune with boom clap drums, a sweet guitar line, and distinct keys, “It Ain’t Over” is actually inspired by a special kind of organ. Carney mentioned in a tweet how his Uncle Ralph Carney (a decorated multi-instrumentalist himself, who played with Tom Waits, co-wrote the Bojack Horseman theme with his nephew, and passed away in 2017) helped inspire the sonic direction that The Black Keys took on the track.

“We built this song around an Optigan,” Carney said in his tweet. “Ralph Carney showed me way back in 1996 if you flipped the discs over they played in reverse. After the first two bars of this I flip it into reverse. Thanks uncle Ralph. Miss you.”

The Optigan (later known as an Orchestron) is an electronic keyboard that operates with sounds that are pre-programed on an optical disc. It’s a pretty cool machine and you can hear it all throughout the new track.

Listen to “It Ain’t Over” above.

Dropout Boogie is out 5/13 via Nonesuch Records. Pre-order it here.

The Black Keys is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.